As mentioned in Some Tips for Beginners, getting familiar with some background knowledge of the subject, to which the documents you are going to translate belong, is very helpful. But you may ask why? Can’t we just use the dictionaries and on-line machine translators?
To get the answers, let’s do an exercise first. Translate the following words, English to Chinese for the first two and Chinese to English for the rest. (来源：专业英语学习网站 http://www.EnglishCN.com)
① 0.18um technology ③ 可测性设计
② latch-up ④ [电路] 连线
⑤ [版图] 连线
Well, finish? Check the answers at the end of this page. How many right words do you get? If you have used dictionaries or on-line machine translators, calculate the time please.
If you are not familiar with the electronics field, it would take you some minutes to look them up in dictionaries or on line machine translators, while it’s not impossible that the results you get are wrong, or say, not the words people in that field use. Take the third one for example, as I checked the on-line machine translators, one came out with the result measurable design and another one showed design for testability. However, design-for-test is the answer. If you are familiar with them, the only time you need is to write them down or just type them out, as well as a second of thinking, or even less.
So which case would you prefer? I think the answer is quite clear. Background knowledge helps us to be quick and professional in our work. It is indeed necessary.
Answers to the translation exercise:
① 0.18um 工艺 ③ design-for-test
② 闩锁 ④ wiring